Parenting, Right Now Rufus, This Sucks

Feelings & Fingernails

One of my goals here is to document, even when it’s ugly. Or bloody.

Right now Rufus is in a stage where he likes to hug me, kiss my face, and then a second later, attempt to scratch my face off. This is no exaggeration: see photo for proof. He does it (I think) when he’s overcome by…something. Love? Frustration? Anxiety? Wild Animalness? It’s definitely FEELINGS that are happening, and they are intense.

At first I shouted out because it hurt. Then I tried making no big deal for a few days, in case he was just thrilled by the rise he got out of me. But when he scratched me over and over yesterday I went back to reacting because I couldn’t help it. OUCH.

We cut his fingernails last night, and we’ve been talking a lot about what’s okay to scratch (sofa, truck, pillow) and what’s no okay (mama, Gus, papa). It’s strange because he loves to read “No Biting” and will say “no biting, bite apple!” but for some reason scratching is in its own field of behavior. One he seems to think I enjoy or… I don’t know. Just sharing one of parenting’s less glamorous moments. There are many such moments, but this one has proven the most embarrassing when walking into an Executive Team meeting.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Genesis August 24, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    My youngest went through a biting phase that sounds similar (generally followed affectionate behavior, like he was just overcome by…something). So I started saying “no biting” as calmly as I could and immediately putting him down and walking away every time he did it. It wasn’t perfect but seemed to work better than anything else we tried and the behavior tapered off pretty quickly.

  • Reply Jen August 25, 2015 at 9:58 am

    I think I’ll try that — I wasn’t walking away/putting him down before and I think that might be key. Thanks for the Mama Advice!

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